Residents in Newham now have access to a digital end-of-life planning platform, empowering them to make plans for themselves, their loved ones and their possessions.

The council has commissioned a hyper-localised version of MyWishes that has been adapted to meet the needs of the local population. It also integrates with locally-trained support charities.

The digital platform can be used to document and share future care decisions and end-of-life choices. By planning these choices in advance, the administrative burden and stress that falls onto families after someone dies is reduced.

In addition, it helps people in Newham to consider their options and choices before they lose the capacity to communicate or consider them.

Cllr Neil Wilson, cabinet member for health and adult social care, said: “Death remains a taboo subject in society, meaning that many people are uncomfortable with or unsure about discussing what will happen with their affairs after they pass.

“This platform will make it far easier for Newham residents to make plans in advance and will relieve much of the stress and difficulty faced by loved ones following a bereavement.”

The MyWishes platform supports patients to make advance care plans for their health and social care preferences. Residents can document what they’d like to happen with both their physical property and their digital content.

They can also document their funeral wishes, write or record a self-authored obituary, make necessary plans and leave goodbye messages to family and friends in the event of their death.

Once documents have been created they can be printed at home and passed on to GPs and anyone who may be involved in their care in the future.

The digital platform is free to use and has the support of local charities across Newham.

The Newham Ageing Well Strategy is a comprehensive approach to improving the health and wellbeing of residents aged over 50. Planning and Preparing for Later Life is a key priority for this strategy.

Back in November 2020 blueprints for the Electronic Palliative Care Co-ordination System (EPaCCS), a palliative care shared record in place in the Humber, Coast and Vale Care Partnership area, were published to improve end-of-life care planning on a national scale.